20:39:16N 34:01:35W

ARC 2014 Blog for Yacht 'Jo'
Ted Watts/ Mark Watts
Mon 1 Dec 2014 20:00

Monday 1st December 2014

.....day eight and our game of ‘I spy’ is getting a little tedious. However, George was caught out today when Ian said “I spy with my little eye something beginning with ‘s’”. ‘S’ Turned out to be ‘ship’. That might have been funny except for the fact that George was on watch! To be fair, the cargo ship was approximately 5 miles away. Last night we also caught sight of ‘Profile’, identified by her MMSI. She is a Beneteau First 40.7 in the racing division and therefore gives us time – not that we’re racing!!

For some reason, ever since we entered into the warmer trade winds, we’ve not seen any dolphins; a shame as they are always entertaining, though we have seen plenty of flying fish’ We’ve decided that the collective noun for flying fishes is a squadron, which seems appropriate given there are generally never less than about 20 of them. I got hit in the back by one two nights ago; they may be small but they fly like torpedoes. Given the 2-3m swells we’ve encountered, the fish aren’t the only flying objects on the boat; one of the Spode bone china mugs is now beyond repair. Why is it never the mug with the chip that breaks?

Last night we had some biggish squalls (gusting 30 knots) which made things a little hairy with a full main. Once the squall had passed, we decided to put a reef in the main, just in case there’s another....Needless to say, the wind slowly died leaving us unsure whether it was momentary or a longer term trend. We played safe by leaving in the reef and unfurling the genoa, the easy option!

We re-evaluated things this morning and decided to goosewing the genoa, as we are now virtually dead down wind. We are still rolling a great deal, but at least none of the sails are slapping with the roll. The wind is currently F4-5 ENE and we heading 265°M with a COG of 250. For those non-technical types, we have beautiful expansive blue skies with perfectly formed fluffy white clouds complemented by an idyllic air temperature of 25°C and sea temperature of 20°C. All of that is very welcome; we’ve had a fairly ragged 7 days so far. It’s not that the sailing is too punishing, it’s simply that the watch system takes its toll; we’re all knackered!

We’ve got a sweep stake on at the moment for when we finish which looks something like this:

George 10th December

Alastair 11th December

Mark 12th December

Alastair 13th December

The looser buys the first round of drinks at St Lucia

We thought we’d open this out to all and sundry; give us your best guess at out finish date and time and the winner will get a special mention and some of our choicest bananas – yes, we’re still trying to find ways of getting shot of them!

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